We’ve all been in this scenario before: it’s the latter half of the draft. The top talent at Position Y all went while you were carrying out your draft strategy with precision, and now you’re left looking at a motley crew of names, thinking to yourself, “All these putzes are the same to me. I’ll throw a dart at a board and probably drop him by Memorial Day.” Hey, it happens, but that doesn’t mean it’s fair. Because within that group of shortstops or third basemen, there’s a player looking back at you saying, “Really? You’re putting me with them??,” and they’re right. Like the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, they get no respect.
They don’t deserve to be lumped together with the Nick Puntos of the world (all due respect to Nick Punto). Throw them all together and you’ve got the All-Rodney Dangerfield Team, made up of misfits with slightly above average talent, and names non-fantasy baseball players can’t spell. I tracked them all down and interviewed them (no I didn’t), and here’s what they had to say (or at least what they would have said had I actually tracked them down to interview them), splashed together with a few fun quotes from the late, great comedian himself.
“I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people.”
Ramon Hernandez, C, COL - “Okay, so maybe it’s been half a decade since I was ‘fantasy relevant’, and I know you got all hyped up when I signed to play in the Great American Ballpark, and maybe I let you down. But come on folks. This is Colorado. A mile up. Thin air. Tap the Rockies. Where OPS shoots up 300 points by default. And it’s not like I’ve been a total waste; I bat .297 and .282 in two full seasons in Cincinnati. Catchers who bat .230 are silent (average) killers! My counting stats haven’t been eye popping, but it’s kind of difficult to amass those batting eighth! I’m healthy, I’m in Colorado, and I will literally be available in the last round of your draft. A little respect please!”
“I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous – everyone hasn’t met me yet.”
Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN - “Ike Davis people? Ike Davis?! You’re drafting me after Ike Davis?! How quickly we forget! How quickly the wagons circle and head off into the sunset! Remember 2010? Apparently not. All I did was bat .345 before I got injured. Three forty-five! Eighteen HRs in half a season. Half a season! And my last healthy season in 2009? 30 HRs, 100 RBIs, 85 Rs, like clockwork. But a guy gets banged up in back-to-back years and suddenly he’s being drafted in the 14th round after Paul Goldschmidt and Ike Davis! You’re gonna let a few surgeries scare you off, like I’m not tough? Have you ever experienced a Canadian winter? I’m tough as nails! Ike Davis!”
“My mother never breast fed me, she told me she only liked me as a friend.”
Ben Zobrist, 2B, TB - “You may not know me, but I’m the guy who quietly had a better 2011 than half the 2B you’re drafting ahead of me in 2012. The short list of 2B who had a better year than me last year: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler. Yet the list of other 2B being drafted ahead of me this year: Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, Chase Utley. Maybe I should get a mohawk or a funky tattoo or something and you’d start paying attention to what a beast I am. The only fantasy statistic Chase stands to surpass me this year is days spent on the DL, which is an honor he will probably compete for with Ian Kinsler all year. Rickie Weeks? I do everything he does, I do it just as well or better, and I’m not a jerk! The rest of you can have fun watching Dan Uggla bat a buck ten for four months!”
“I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”
Erick Aybar, SS, ANA - “All I did last season was drive in 59 runs, score 71 times, and steal 30 bases while batting a hair under .280. No biggie. All I hear is that shortstop is where owners want to draft their speed; that’s why they take Jose and Hanley in Round 1. Well there’s only so many steals to go around in Miami, and that’s when they’re not pulling hammies and going bananas about switching positions. But me? At pick 138? Really? Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, but I now get to bat atop a lineup that features ‘The Machine’ — what do you think that will do to my run totals? I can sleep my way to 90. And the only one who will be sleeping is you, at the wheel, if you pass on me for the likes of Dee Gordon. Enjoy that train if he isn’t batting .300 or running wild at the end of April.
” My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.”
Mark Reynolds, 3B, BAL - “I hear what you guys are saying: ‘Oh 3B is so thin, there’s no talent after the top, it drops off like a ledge, get it early or be doomed for eternity!’” Psh. So I bat .230, what of it? Last I checked, your league doesn’t count my 500 annual strikeouts, so big whoop. You know what they do count? The ridiculous amount of HRs I hit. Yeah, those. Only Jose Bautista hit more than me last year, and if I went to see his pharmacist, I bet I’d develop the same ‘eye’ he has. You guys go bananas for power at the other corner infield position, but I do it and you’re too busy passing on me for guys who had a cup of coffee last season in the bigs and got hurt, and play in Canada. Really? Canada? Listen, I may not have flown to Europe to have blood drained from one part of my body and then re-inserted into another part of my body, or be so fat that I have a nickname to reflect how fat I am, but I mash homers, and as it still stands, chicks dig the long ball. So I’m gonna keep mashing homers, while your 3B spends his time wishing his way off the Mets, or frequenting time on the DL so he can date another washed up blonde. Bah!”
“This morning when I put on my underwear I could hear the Fruit-of-the-Loom guys laughing at me.”
Aubrey Huff, OF, SF – “.290, 26 HRs, 86 RBIs, 100 Rs, 7 SBs. It wasn’t that long ago that this was my season total. Think all the way back to 2010, remember, when my Giants won the World Series? I was slapping ding dongs left and right. Last year I struggled, sure, but Pick 280? When you’re deciding between the guy whose never thrown a single Major League inning or the guy who may or may not become a team’s closer and the guy who two seasons ago hit 26 homers and scored 100 runs. How is this even a decision? I played 22 games in the OF last year, people, I’m not losing eligibility! Buster Posey is back, Melky Cabrera and Angel Cabrera are in town, and the Huffinator is making a comeback in 2012!”
“When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.”
Bud Norris, SP, HOU - “Apparently strikeouts aren’t as sexy as they used to be, cause all I did last season was fan 173 batters. More than Josh Beckett, Michael Pineda, Max Scherzer, and Derek Holland. And my reward? I’m being drafted after Matt Harrison, Shelby Miller, Roy Oswalt, Mark Buehrle, and a bunch of other has-beens and never-will-bes. Yeah, my team stinks, but they stunk last year and that didn’t stop me from striking everybody out; it won’t this year either. You all dock pitcher after pitcher for low K rates, and I can’t be rewarded just a smidgen of respect for mine? It figures. Enjoy picking me up in May after you drop your 20th-round Pick because he just got shelled for the third consecutive game.”
“When I was born I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother.”
Jordan Walden, RP, ANA – “My first year as a closer I notched 32 saves, kept my ERA under 3.00 and my WHIP under 1.25, and struck out more batters than innings I pitched. Then in the off-season my team signs the best available bat and the best available starting pitcher for more than the net worth of Google and Twitter combined, and how does this affect my value? I can’t even crack the Top 10! Listen, I know there’s no correlation between team success and save opportunities and blah blah blah, but come on folks! My team is favored to win the World Series! Do you really think they aren’t going to provide opportunities for me to snag some cushy three-run lead saves out in the Golden State? This is like shooting fish in a barrel, and you’re too busy picking guys with big black beards and ridiculous mustaches to give me a real shot! Unbelievable!”
Have your own candidate to add to the roster? Let’s hear it!
Brendan Horton is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Brendan in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of bigh0rt.
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